As I write this, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is still talking about defunding Obamacare. He is trying to emulate the brilliance of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis and takes to the floor undoubtedly to try to one up her 10 hour 45 minute stand in the Texas state legislature, as Republicans need to show they're better than Democrats any chance they get ... or take.
And you know what they say, imitation is the best form of flattery. Except this is not flattering. Not to Davis, not to Cruz and not to the Republican Party.
Ted Cruz may not realize it, but in those hours he is spouting about Obamacare, he is wasting valuable tax dollars and further contributing to our U.S. debt and deficit; what most Americans care about and much more so than they dislike Obamacare.
Republicans state that the president should defund Obamacare because the majority of the American people don't want it; but that is not entirely true. Read the way each poll's question is worded. What seems clear to me is that Americans want pieces of the plan based on their own needs, and, as I have said in the past, Democrats, the president included, have done a bad job at telling the nation what Obamacare is, whereas Republicans have been much louder about telling the American public what Obamacare is not.
And Ted Cruz is doing just that. A phrase like "job killer" is a perfect example. The plan doesn't go into affect until October 1st, so just how many jobs has this law killed? None. Oh, I know, the GOP will tell you that employers are firing people left and right ... but the unemployment numbers don't show that, nor do the Labor Department's jobs reports.
What the reports do show is that the private sector has been adding jobs, albeit slowly, month by month. More people lost their jobs or were reduced to part time wages in 2008 and 2009, and that was before Obamacare was passed. And death panels? Tell that to anyone who has ever had their current private big insurance company dictate how much physical therapy they can have after surgery, if they can even have surgery, what medications they can take, how much and how often and if your plan will cover that life support you're on. Death panels have been in place as long as insurance companies have made a profit off of keeping their sickest members on the cheapest budget.
And since Republicans care so much about what the majority of the American people want, why are they ignoring another poll? CNBC has a poll just this week showing 51 percent of Americans do not want the government to shut down over the issue of defunding Obamacare. I guess that doesn't count because that poll does not support the GOP way of thinking.
Cruz might be enjoying his hours of fame, and those in the tea party will bow down and worship him tomorrow, but all that he is doing is further fragmenting the already severely divided GOP. Perhaps the GOP and Cruz should read some of the tweets out there in social networking land. Here are a couple of examples I found on Twitter tonight:
a) "Ted Cruz, the best thing to happen to the Democrats!"
b) "I'm no fan of Obamacare, but this dog and pony show is pointless."
This is a show. A show for Ted Cruz's tea party backers to write him more and bigger checks so he can run for president. But this show will most likely cost Republicans the next two, three or four elections. And as a Democrat, am I happy about that? Sure. But the division in this party, and this dog and pony show, hurts our system, wastes American taxpayers time and money and spits in the face of our political system. Ted Cruz's antics are the reason Congress has such a low approval rating.
So when this drama has ended, Cruz should thank Obama, for without Obamacare, many folks wouldn't even know Ted Cruz's name. Now they do, and they laugh when they hear it. As I always remind people, this plan was originally a Republican idea, and if it had been called BushCare we wouldn't be having this discussion, and Cruz would be home in bed, silent, where he belongs. Let's admit it folks, the last thing our country needs is more drama in Washington.
- Read Jamal Simmons: Behind the Tea Party’s Defund Obamacare Shutdown Temper Tantrum
- Read Robert Schlesinger: Shutdown or Defund Obamacare? Americans Say No in New Poll
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